Monday, May 26, 2014

Joseph Grant County Park

After some long days and nights this week, hiking seemed to be the best way to unwind. So we headed off to the local Park - Joseph Grant - armed with the big 3 wheeler, 3 spare daipers, 3 litres of water and insufficient sunblock for us...

Hiking up to the ridge was the hottest part, mostly because the sea breeze didn't roll through until about 1:30pm. Maddy was in good spirits so we continued on around the bigger loop - the Dutch flat trail. As you can see the green grass is history, for this season.

We saw this calm Gopher snake, well I did anyway :) It was hanging out in the middle of the trail. It was a pretty good size, five feet maybe.

There are quite a few woodpeckers around the plentiful oaks. Despite being bone dry there is still some color here and there.

Especially in the rose garden. Although that is kind of cheating isn't it ;) with the irrigation and all. I enjoy them though.

One thing Heidi and I noticed is the sign saying campground full. And yet on the whole hike of 3.5 hours we saw 3 people. What a contrast to Mission peak.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Coyote Howl 2014

The MotherLode Sky Riders always put on a fun time, for the Coyote Howl especially. Here is Eric getting ready to launch into consistently good conditions.

Good flying was had both days, great to see so many gliders all up in the air at once. The ceiling was typically bouncy but high enough to cool off. 

On Sunday I finally managed to fly passed the Mt Blanco fire tower, I had made that my mission on Saturday but couldn't make it happen.

"Lake" McClure. Pretty dry this year!
This is where much of south central california gets it water from, but other lakes seem to be in the same condition. Maybe it is time to stop watering the sidewalks while we might still have some drinking water for the rest of the dry season (which goes from now to November).
Good times in the LZ, BBQ someone was playing trumpet, tall stories were being told, cool prizes awarded to Speed gliding (john Taylor), pylon course (Jason French - I think), duration (also Jason French) and XC (Scott Huber), who flew from there to somewhere near Porterville on Tuesday. Good job :)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Sierra Vista Open Space

A few weeks ago I went for a fun mountain bike ride from Alum Rock up through Sierra Vista Open Space, but never mind about that. Last Sunday was Mothers Day, Heidi's first, and she's been mentioning how she misses the biking seeing me ride to work most days. So having done a little reconnaissance - I figured the "perfect" ride would be across and down from the top, up at the aforementioned parks..
So Maddy and I dropped her off up top of Sierra Road, which is by far the nicest part. Single track with rolling grades in steep terrain, lots of wildflowers and great scenery.
And in a matter of weeks this will all be dried up and golden once again. So now is the time to enjoy it.

For Heidi it was mostly downhill.

With just some shady climbs. Different than the other direction! It was a little adventure for me too, being my first away solo time with Maddy. A little unhappy she was by the time we got to our rendezvous point. Note to self, 5 mins is too long to wait to feed her, hmmm well honestly I can relate ;)

There is a pretty neat old ranch tucked way back in the canyon.

For the Big ride, the turn around spot is a picnic in the middle of nowhere. However I was lucky enough to see a smallish mountain lion (what ever that cat movement is called - bound ?) disappear into the eucalyptus grove behind. Very cool to see up so close.

I took my tracker since I was alone and quite isolated. didn't see a single person for 3 hours. Just a city full of 985,000 people ;)

The signs on the entrance are so numerous now does anyone take the time to read them all, or even any of them?

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Grand Parents visit

Time to meet their new granddaughter. My Mum and Dad flew in for a couple of weeks.

On the weekends I found some activities we could all, do. First up my recent favorite : Coyote Hills Regional park. Maddy's not quite strong enough to ride a bike yet. And Gloria's knee is no good for walking. So Mum, Dad and I rode in from Don Edwards, and met them there. Where I'd trade the bike for Maddys, buggy. 

It's a great ride, on a warm spring day. In the park Heidi and Gloria grabbed the tandem and rode around the park with Mum and Dad, While Maddy and I strolled up the hill.

On this day the butterfly garden was open. Lots of blooming flowers and a few butterflys.

The next day, we went to Joseph D Grant park. Mostly to see the rose garden which was bare sticks 6 weeks ago. 

The garden was quite spectacular. Old roses from the historic ranch house have been well cared for. I took Maddy for a good long stroll which she happily slept through, unlike the previous day, wailing through the wilderness.

The following weekend, we all went up to Sunol wilderness. It was nice to see the park green. We went up through little yosemite valley, and around through the McCorkle trail. The gullied out single track was maybe an enthusiastic choice but the buggy made it through surprisingly well.

The views were great and Maddy seemed to like the bumpy bits best. We've named the her buggy "The Chariot" and hope to take it many places.

And just like that the whirwind trip was over.